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Finances force Hamburg to withdraw from Van der Vaart chase

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Tottenham playmaker Rafael van der Vaart has been linked with a move back to the Bundesliga all summer, and Schalke and Hamburg were said to be eyeing the Dutch international. Hamburg though now appear to have withdrawn from the race due to financial constraints, revealed ESPN Soccernet.

The 29 year-old started his career at the famed youth academy of Ajax and move to Bundesliga side Hamburg in 2005. After three years in Germany, the attacking midfielder moved to Spanish giants Real Madrid in 2008 where he failed to establish himself as first choice. He was snapped up by Spurs two years later for a negligible fee. At Tottenham, he left an indelible mark scoring 24 goals in 61 games for the North London side in two years. Although the midfielder enjoyed considerable playing time under Redknapp, he became disillusioned last season because of being deployed in a variety of positions, often coming off the bench.

Hamburg coach Thomas Fink had shown heavy interest in the playmaker, citing that the Dutchman would be 'an ideal fit' in his team. However, any hopes of Van der Vaart's return to the Imtech Arena have been dashed after club chairman Carl Edgar Jarchow told German newspaper Bild, "We cannot finance a move for Rafael van der Vaart."

New Tottenham boss Andre-Villas Boas has also voiced his admiration for the player and the Dutchman appears to be part of his plans at White Hart Lane. On the subject of the transfer, AVB has said, "With Van der Vaart... at the moment, I am absolutely counting on him."

With two years left on his contract with Tottenham, the German sides will have to make a big offer to take Van der Vaart back to Germany. AVB has spoken of his desire to retain the player but if Schalke are able to meet his valuation, the unsettled Dutchman could make the switch to Germany this summer.